12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Do not be afraid”
In preparing for today’s reflection, I found myself experiencing a sensation which felt like it was constricting my chest. This feeling was odd and after sitting with it, I realised that it was brought about by the word ‘afraid’. While the Gospel passage reminds us not to be afraid, the very mention of the word ironically focuses my attention on this fear, and prepares my mind for battle.
I recently watched the move ‘Ender’s Game’. Without giving away too much of the plot, one scene involved a group of students protecting one of their team members. There was stress and concern to ensure that the student was shielded from another group which was trying to attack them. There was much stress involved.
Having received so many blessings from our Lord, I feel that I spend much of my time trying to protect these blessings. These blessings include my work, my family and other aspects of my life. I feel like the characters in ‘Ender’s Game’, anxious to protect myself from all these attacks.
My wife shared with me something she heard on a podcast recently… that attachment to our blessings set us up for sin.
What she shared with me really hit home. If blessings come from God, then our attention should be on Him. I am reminded by how, when my son was about 2, he would come up to me and try to wrestle me. He would throw his full body weight on me, trying to pin me down, and trying to get me to surrender. Yet, despite what he did, I would be unaffected.
With these new eyes, I read the Gospel again. Rather than defending our blessings, I draw strength in the Giver, that no matter what happens and whatever the outcome, our God will ultimately take good care of us. We are much bigger than our earthly lives.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Help us Father, to live our lives courageously. Let us not be attached to Your blessings to us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father for blessing us, and blessing us abundantly. We are grateful for Your love.